HNoMS Harald Haarfagre

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KNM Tordenskjold.png
Tordenskjold class plan.gif Plans of the Tordenskjold class coastal defense ships. Note heavy guns in forward and aft turret, and secondary armament in central battery. HNoMS Harald Haarfagre in drydock at Karljohansvern.jpg
Harald Haarfagre in drydock at Karljohansvern naval base.
History
Naval Ensign of Norway (1844-1905).svg Norway
Name: Harald Haarfagre
Namesake: Harald I of Norway
Ordered: 1896
Laid down: 1897
Launched: 4 January 1897
Commissioned: 21 March 1898
Captured: by the Germans in 1940
Nazi Germany
Name: Tethis
Acquired: 1940
Fate: Handed back to Norway after VE Day
Service record
Operations: Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany
Norway
Name: Harald Haarfagre
Acquired: 1945
Fate: Scrapped 1948
General characteristics as built
Class and type: Tordenskjold-class coastal defence ship
Displacement: 3,858 long tons (3,920 t)
Length: 92.66 m (304 ft 0 in)
Beam: 14.78 m (48 ft 6 in)
Draught: 5.38 m (17 ft 8 in)
Propulsion: Coal-fired reciprocating steam engines, 4,500 hp (3,356 kW)
Speed: 16.9 knots (31.3 km/h; 19.4 mph)
Complement: 245
Armament:
  • 2 × 21 cm (8.3 in)/45 guns
  • 6 × 12 cm (4.7 in)/45 guns
  • 6 × 7.6 cm (3 in)/40 guns
  • 6 × 1-pounder Quick Fire guns
  • 2 × 45 cm (18 in) submerged torpedo tubes
Armour:
General characteristics after German rebuild
Displacement: 3,858 long tons (3,920 t)
Length: 92.66 m (304 ft 0 in)
Beam: 14.78 m (48 ft 6 in)
Draught: 5.38 m (17 ft 8 in)
Propulsion: Coal-fired reciprocating steam engines, 4,500 hp (3,356 kW)
Speed: 16.9 knots (31.3 km/h; 19.4 mph)
Complement: 245
Armament:
Armour:

HNoMS Harald Haarfagre, known locally as Panserskipet Harald Haarfagre, was a Norwegian coastal defence ship. She, her sister-ship Tordenskjold and the slightly newer Eidsvold-class were built as part of the general rearmament in the time leading up to the events in 1905. Harald Haarfagre remained an important vessel in the Royal Norwegian Navy until she was considered unfit for war in the mid-1930s.

Description[edit]

Models of the coastal defense ships Tordenskjold and Eidsvold. Tordenskjold in the front.

Built at Elswick[2] and nearly identical to her sister ship Tordenskjold, Harald Haarfagre was named after Harald I of Norway, known as "Harald Fairhair" in English, the semi-mythical first king of a united Norway. Built as a typical pre-dreadnought battleship on a smaller scale, she carried guns of a wide range of calibers: two 8.2-inch guns in barbettes, six 4.7-inch, six 3-inch, and six smaller quick-firing guns. The ship could manage a speed of over seventeen knots. Protected by belt armor of seven inches thickness, the ship also featured gun barbettes with nearly eight inches of steel armor and an armored deck.[3]

Service history and fate[edit]

A vital part of the Royal Norwegian Navy, Harald Haarfagre performed ordinary duties until she was considered "unfit for war" in the mid-1930s. After the German invasion of Norway, she was seized by the Germans and rebuilt as a floating Flak battery under the name Thetis. After the war Harald Haarfagre was used briefly as a floating barracks, and for transporting German POWs, before she was sold for scrapping in 1948.

It was intended to augment the Norwegian Panserskip fleet with the two ships of the Bjørgvin-class, ordered in 1912, but after these were confiscated by the British Navy at the outbreak of World War I the Tordenskjold class and the slightly newer, two ship strong, Eidsvold-class was forced to soldier on long after they were obsolete.

Today the name KNM Harald Haarfagre is used on the Royal Norwegian Navy and Royal Norwegian Air Force Basic Training Establishment, located in Madla, Stavanger.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Abelsen, Frank (1986). Norwegian naval ships 1939-1945 (in Norwegian and English). Oslo: Sem & Stenersen AS. p. 289. ISBN 82-7046-050-8. 
  2. ^ Keltie, J.S., ed. The Statesman's Year Book: Statistical and Historical Annual of the States of the World for the Year 1900. New York: MacMillan, 1900. p 1066. (Retrieved via Google Books 3/5/11.)
  3. ^ Keltie 1900, p. 1066.

See also[edit]